Fringe comedy review: Poser by Emily Benita
Poser is a ‘comedessay’ about the past couple of years of Emily Benita’s life, creatively and personally.
Poser, by Emily Benita ***
“Is it really theatre?” Ten years’ ago, this was a discussion that we often seemed to have when a show was made up of more than 30 per cent film footage. I’d usually argue that it was, particularly if I liked it.
But as the Edinburgh Fringe Pandemic Special Edition is now revealing, through shows-about-shows-that-can-no-longer-be-shows, including this thought provoking one-woman exploration of self-expression versus self-promotion, by sometimes stand-up Emily Benita, perhaps there is a genre that sits somewhere between the two forms – and can shapeshift when necessary.
Energetically edited clips juxtaposing Emily’s work as a life model with posting selfies online and performing on stage are brought together by a wryly observed, noir-esque narration on what it means to be “brave”, while the meta-mechanics of writing about this are gleefully exposed and unpicked.
The strange sadness of delivering witty observations to an audience rendered silent through space gives a comic-tragic melancholy to the constellation of images, thoughts and ideas on exhibitionism in its many forms – one that gets a little lost in its own existential analysis in places and, at 26 minutes, has yet to reach any big bang-style conclusions, but instead sparks an intimate discussion with the distant audience, an unheard partner in a shared conversation.
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